ISIC Germany

ISIC in the course of time

Take a journey back in time and follow ISIC to its genesis, its design changes and milestones.

Today, the ISIC has become a fixed component of many students from all over the world. The mission of facilitating young people's lives with exclusive perks and benefits turned into the only internationally accepted identity card as well as a flexible lifestyle product for students. To review the last milestones of ISIC, the last 65 years will be outlined in the following paragraph.

ISIC Musterkarte

The year 1953 marks the birth of ISIC: based on the motto of students for students the ISIC was created as part of an initiative between Norwegian and Dutch students in Copenhagen. With the help of the Danish Coordinating Secretariat of National Student Associations (COSEC), the final launch was finally initiated, whereby no one could assume that about 65 years later, the simple idea of ISIC has transformed into a global network of more than 120 million cardholders. The very first card was similar to an old passport, which offered all personal information in writing alongside of a monochrome photo.

The black and white design was abandoned in 1972 and was replaced by colored stamps, which set visual accents. Especially in the 70s and 80s the ISIC had a flourishing period, concluded new partnerships with renowned airlines and enabled students new ways of traveling.

It is not surprising that the card has been supported by the UNESCO since 1968 (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Due to the same mission, the organization chose to approve the ISIC card as the only accepted student card worldwide that not only facilitates international exchanges between countries, cultures and people, but also promotes the resolution of cross-cultural barriers. The support of the UNESCO is essential to such an extent, so that the UNESCO logo has become a firm part of the ISIC card since 1993.

ISIC Musterkarte


Previously, however, the card finally renounced the paper size in 1989 and switched to plastic cards, which were not only much more robust, but also available in more colors. Thus, the new card design included the classic ISIC turquoise and could convince its holders with a handy format. In addition, technological progress has enabled the opportunity of co-branded cards, which allows logos of co-operation partners on the ISIC card that can be issued since 1990.

In 2001 the card finally managed its establishment to a lifestyle product, which led to the major relaunch in 2008/2009. Since then, Co-brand partners have been given more creative scopes for their unique card design, whereby the card has become more personalized over the years.

ISIC Musterkarte


With introduction of the app based virtual ISIC for smartphones, the year 2016 also marks an important time in the history of the card. On the one hand, the virutal ISIC guarantees even more flexible use, as you can prove your identity anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, the virtual ISIC will gradually replace the plastic card in the future for reasons of sustainability.

ISIC Musterkarte

As part of a global brand refresh campaign, ISIC is introducing a fresh, modern and stylish new logo and card design in 2019. Everything has been reworked from logos to company documents. The logo features a refreshed colour palette that stays true to its origins, while also embracing a new look and feel. By eliminating the complexity and dated iconography, the new ISIC identity gives cardholders a clear, simple and professional sign of membership of belonging to a global community.